It seems like only yesterday that we were eagerly anticipating what 2011 would bring in terms of social media marketing, technology and social media developments. But no sooner are we celebrating a new year, than Christmas arrives.
Whilst many will be rushing around the shops picking up the last minute presents and food for the big day (surely it can’t just be me that isn’t organised?!) I’ve decided to take time out to look back at the last twelve months; so grab a cuppa and a few biscuits, put your feet up and enjoy.
If the start of 2011 was a glimmer of what we could expect to see throughout the next twelve months, then brands, businesses and individuals as social media consumers were to be in for a rollercoaster of a ride.
The year started with NDubz singer Tulisa threatening to sue Twitter over defamatory statements made against her on the micro-blogging site – this was a theme which was set to reoccur throughout the year.
After the threat of being sued, Twitter along with rivals Facebook were banned in Egypt during the political troubles occurring; and to make matters worse for Facebook, LinkedIn announced that they planned to float on the stock market, with some experts believing the site was worth at least £2.5billion.
After the burst of activity in the first month of 2011, February didn’t look to be any different.
Whilst Twitter and Facebook were banned within Egypt, after a successful start which saw them see of challengers, LinkedIn got banned in China after the network became a platform for organising anti-government protests.
In happier times for Twitter, JP Morgan announced their plans to be their financial might behind the micro-blogging site, with a $450million bid to take a 10% stake.
February also appeared to be the month were businesses began to realise the power that social media marketing could have. Not only did participating Odeon Cinemas reward customers who checked in via Facebook Pages with a free box of popcorn. But low-budget airline, EasyJet, launched their first blog and community space in a bid to reach new and existing customers.
At the time, EasyJet’s marketing manager said: “Social platforms are part of everyday life for many of the people who fly with us. It is important that we participate in these platforms and make it as easy as possible for our passengers to engage with us, wherever they are online.
“We are excited to be pushing the boundaries and are always looking for new solutions to integrate everything we do online, with the wider business.”
After a hectic two months of the year, March seemed to calm things within the social media and technology industry down.
The only notable news was that Google introduced an enhanced social functionality to its search service, a move which will manifest itself in the form of a “+1” button.
Along with Google announcing the +1 button, on UK shores, social media was beginning to shape news headlines – most notably an email between two friends about a girl, being published within national newspapers – but not before it went viral.
As technology, cloud computing and social media grew in importance throughout the UK for individuals and businesses, so did the risk accompanied with them, in particular privacy risks and these were brought to attention throughout April.
Firstly, a hacker gained access into the Sony system which could have had consequences for online users, so in a move to combat the threat, Sony withdrew its Playstation network – leaving an estimated 75million people unable to game online.
Also victim of hackers during April was the leading social networking site, Facebook, after a 26-year-old from the UK breached Facebook a server that deals with internal mailing lists and another used to issue software development challenges to outside engineers; although Facebook were quick to confirm that its users’ personal data was not compromised in the security breach.
With spring in the air, many businesses were turning to Twitter and other social media platforms to promote their latest summer products and to engage with clients, customers and fans.
Yet at the same time, Ryan Giggs was planning to sue Twitter and one anonymous user on the platform who broke a super-injunction and announced that Giggs was the football player having an affair with a former Big Brother contestant.
This move by Giggs showed the importance of being careful about what you do and say on social media networks (although the threat was never taken any further); but it also showed the power Twitter and social media can have in society – especially as many news sources used the information gathered from Twitter within their articles on the affair.
Anyone who has dabbled in social media will have at some point or another have come across one of Google’s attempts at breaking into the market. Unfortunately their previous attempts, including Wave and Buzz failed to reach the heights they’d hoped for.
But in June, they launched another attempt, by introducing Google+ to the world. Unfortunately for Google, it seems they made a few minor miscalculations when it came to Google+. Not only did they make it invite only, preventing it from spreading quickly from the beginning; but they also prevented businesses and brands from creating pages or profiles – alienating a large chunk of those who use social media regularly.
So that’s the first six months of social media marketing, social media and technology of 2011 reviewed, in our second part we look take a look back at July through to December, so keep an eye out for that – and if you have any other memorable social media moments of 2011, why not share them in the comment section?